Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First day of school and a ride to Panera

What a day! I'm completely exhausted. Today, the kids started school, so we had to get back to using alarm clocks in the morning. Noah was very nervous about school, while Eli was very excited (this is how things usually go). I walked Noah to the bus stop this morning, and he looked so grown up!


We got to the bus stop at 6:55, and the bus was scheduled to arrive at 7:05 (Noah was worried about missing the bus, so we left pretty early). The bus didn't arrive until 7:27! School starts at 7:30, so we already knew he'd be late. I felt bad for him, because the teacher was going to let them pick their seats today; and I later learned he was the last one to arrive to class, so he had to take the last available seat.

I had been planning to wake Eli up at around 7:10, but since Noah's bus was so late, I didn't get back to the house until 7:30. I woke him up quickly, and he got dressed and ate breakfast. Then we walked to the bus stop, and the bus was pulling up at 7:45 while we were still down the street. He ran to the bus and got on. At least we didn't have to wait, like we did for Noah!


When I got home, I took a shower, had some breakfast, and then tried to clean up the house a little bit. I had plans to meet my friend Andrea for lunch at Panera at noon, and I was really looking forward to seeing her. At around 9:30, I had the crazy idea of riding my bike to Panera instead of driving. I looked up the distance, and it was about 12 miles each way. I asked Andrea to meet a little earlier, so that I could have enough time to ride home before Noah got home. Then I got ready to head out.

I decided to bring my Camelbak today, but without the water reservoir. I just wanted to use it for a lightweight backpack, basically. I brought some fuel (Gu and Shotbloks, in case I needed them), my driver's license and debit card, a towel, a t-shirt to throw on over my sweaty tank once I got there, and my cell phone.

I headed out for the ride, guessing it would take probably about an hour to get there. I didn't plan a particular route, but I wanted to avoid going over the expressway if possible, and avoid those new rough gravel roads. I just went the general direction toward Panera, and made decisions as they came at me. It was a pretty nice ride! I took the backroads to avoid a ton of traffic, and it went by pretty quickly. I made it to Panera with 15 minutes to spare before Andrea got there. I locked up my bike and then sat outside while I waited, drying off before going inside.

For the last few days, ever since Andrea and I made plans, I was really looking forward to having broccoli cheddar soup and bread. It sounded SO GOOD. Once I got there, however, I was hot and sweaty, and the last thing I wanted was soup! I wanted something cold, so I got a chicken caesar salad with a baguette on the side for 610 calories total.


Andrea and I chatted for a couple of hours, catching up. She's in the process of moving, so she's got a lot going on right now. I really enjoyed my salad and bread, knowing I had burned so many calories to get it!

I left with enough time to get home and shower before Noah was due home. I was kind of dreading the ride back, but I knew I'd be really happy to get it done. It was crazy-hot when I stepped out of Panera! It was 89 with a "real feel" temp of 97. I bought a bottle of water when I bought my lunch, so I tucked the water into one of the pockets of my Camelbak (I want to get a water bottle holder soon--it's on my list for sure).

The ride home was hot, but it went by pretty quickly.


I downed the bottle of water in the last four miles, and was really looking forward to a cold shower and more water when I got home. The ride home was a tad shorter than the ride there, because I made one slight change in the route on the way back. My time includes all of my traffic stops--I never stopped the Garmin while I was riding, just because I was curious how long it would actually take me to get there and back, in case I ever want to do it again.

Going TO Panera
Going home from Panera


It was a little over two hours round-trip, including the traffic stops. Not too bad! Maybe Jerry and I can ride there for a bagel one morning while the kids are at school.

One of the things I was thinking about on the ride was how much bike riding can help me branch out as far as where I can go. When running, I would never run all the way to Panera and back. Where I live, there isn't much within about an 8-mile radius of home, so I could never really run to a destination from home without logging some serious miles. Riding my bike has opened a whole new world of places for me to go without a car! Especially if I decide to increase my distance a little, and do 40 or even 50 miles in a day. Since Jerry got a bike, too, we can ride places together. I've always been a little envious of Lori at Finding Radiance (one of the first blogs I started reading)--she and her husband regularly go for long bike rides for ice cream and bagels, and other yummy treats.

I got my bike four years ago, so I don't know why it took me so long to really like riding it--but I can honestly say that I actually enjoy doing it! I'm really excited for the Tour de Troit, which is a week from Saturday.

22 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to see you enjoying cycling! It would be easy to give up altogether since you can't run right now, great job on staying active!

    I can't imagine only 38' of elevation gain. I think I get that on my street! I rode 13 miles last week with over 1,100' of elevation. Definitely changes the overall speed, but I really enjoy it.

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  2. LOVE hearing and reading your excitement to finding the joy of biking. (I bet in a year or two, you decide Biking is even BETTER than riding and become hardcore!).
    I am so happy for you. You have come a really long way from the girl who put her helmet on backwards! :-)

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    1. Duh, I meant Biking is even better than running, not riding. LOL.

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    2. Hahahaha, I love the helmet comment. I certainly have come a long way since then! ;)

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  3. Glad your boys made it..eventually. Hope today goes better for the bus arrival.

    I also envy Lori and her bike rides. Good for you for branching out. :)

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  4. Aww your kids look so cute heading off for their first day!
    Sounds like a great bike ride...I think trying to incorporate activity into your regular daily activity that way (bike instead of drive) is the best way for sure. You can burn just as many calories as with a specific time dedicated to a workout.
    I like your bike selfie :)

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  5. At one point you said you were thinking of getting a part-time job when your kids went back to school. Is that still on your radar?

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    1. Not right now... Coaching cross country, the kids' playing fall baseball, and my blog will be occupying quite a bit of time. Maybe someday! I really enjoy being here for my kids before and after school, so it would have to be a job that would still allow me to do that.

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    2. There will come a time when your kids are no longer living with you. What are you planning on doing then?

      Are you and Jerry able to save up for retirement with you not working? Surely he hopes to retire one day and not work 12-hour shifts in his 80s.

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    3. Why are you worried about their retirement? I'm sure they are just fine.

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    4. I rarely comment on others posts but I have to agree with the 2nd Anonymous poster...you should in no way be questioning Katie about her finances and retirement. It's quite distasteful.Asking if she's thinking about returning to work is one thing since she's mentioned it before however, prying about their personal finances crosses so many boundaries...it also makes her readers feel uncomfortable. I'm hoping you just really are naive and didn't realize this would be offensive and aren't trying to be malicious.

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  6. That's one of the things I love about biking is how far you can go. You might want to pack a mini bike pump and a spare tube in your pack. You will have a flat tire at some point (law of averages), so you need to be prepared :D

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  7. Enjoying watching your bike rides. I might need to dust my bike off and start putting it to good use as well!

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  8. Happy First Day to Eli and Noah! So cute! What do you pack them for their lunches? Keeping variety for my little one is SO hard! I despise the lunch packing part of back to school!

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    1. That's always a tough one for me, too! My kids are very picky about what they bring for lunch, so I can't just throw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ;) They like to bring soup, so I'll pack that in a thermos for them pretty often. Occasionally, I'll pack leftovers from dinner the night before. Eli asked if he could bring cereal tomorrow, so we're going to try that for the first time. I'm going to put his milk in a thermos, and then pack the cereal in a dry container. Eli likes to bring buttered noodles (he would eat that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let him!). I'm always looking for more ideas, because the kids always complain about things I pack, but then they won't tell me what they really want!

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    2. Great ideas! Thank you! LOVE your blog! You are such an inspiration!

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    3. Anonymous...when my kids were younger and I was having a hard time with variety for their lunches, I took a kind of bento box approach...I'd pack a small amount of 4-5 different things rather than just a sandwich. A typical "bentonite box" lunch would be a protein ( lunch meat, leftover meat from dinner, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, tuna, cheese, babybel cheese wheels etc...), a starch (pita bread cut into cute shapes, rice, crackers) a variety of veggies (either cut up a bunch on Sunday nights so they are easy to grab OR if you're lazy like me, buy a veggie tray from your grocery store and BAM easy for lunches and snacks when they get home!), fruit (same trick as above, get a fruit tray or get some melons and either use a baller or cut them into cute shapes...my kids loved fruit in different shapes lol) and maybe even a little dessert. Add a drink like water, milk or juice and you're done! You could also do little pizza kits (pack an English muffin or the cutouts of pita and add a few different toppings that your kids like and they can assemble.

      It's so easy to customize and and is like a healthy "Lunchable"! My kids loved things like this and they actually ate whereas sometimes sandwiches would either get traded for something else or not eaten at all.

      Hope these ideas helped!

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    4. Seriously genius! Thank you so much!!! I despise the lunchables and my son wants them ALL the time b/c all the kids at school have them. I think this approach will please both of us!

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    5. Haha first time I've been called "genius" so I may bronze this for posterity haha You can get such cute Tupperware (or generic plastic containers) now or there are even specific "bento" type lunch boxes for kids now. I swear having a cute lunch box/bag makes them almost as excited to eat lunch as the food itself lol

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  9. I haven't rode my bike in ages. It's 12 miles to anything from our house. I got a new seat because my butt was really hurting every time we rode but it doesn't seem to help much. I think I need to invest in some better padded pants.

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    1. Julie, I can't even tell you how badly my butt hurt when I first started riding! Eventually, it stopped hurting, so I think my bones just got used to it? I think that pain may have been why I didn't enjoy riding my bike much. Now that it's not painful, I love it!

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  10. I would love to ride a bike that distance. Way to turn a situation around, with your injury and not being able to run. Pretty soon you are going to have to change the name of the blog to Ride for Cookies! :) The boys are so adorable. It's great that you are there for them when then get home from school. I did the same with both of my boys (now grown) and if I had to do it again, I wouldn't change a thing.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)